Our Mission

Our mission is to protect and restore the health of Northwest Straits’ marine resources by promoting and implementing science-based restoration and stewardship, enhancing collaboration, and attracting resources for the work of the Northwest Straits Initiative.

Since being founded in 2002, we’ve invested millions of dollars of private and corporate contributions in education, protection, and conservation across the seven-county region of the Northwest Straits.

Our Team

Don Hunger

Don Hunger

Executive Director

don@nwstraitsfoundation.org

Don brings a national career in collaborative conservation and natural resource management to the Northwest Straits Foundation. Read more...

As former vice president of government affairs, he led the Student Conservation Association’s work in congressional and agency affairs, cooperative agreements, natural resource initiatives and partnerships. Prior to serving as VP, Don was SCA’s Alaska regional director establishing its state office, and strategic alliances supporting programs in fisheries, forestry and recreation resources.

His national programs include wildland fire community assistance with the National Interagency Fire Center; wilderness management with the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute; and, invasive species treatment and monitoring with BLM.

Don served as wilderness social scientist and planner with the USDA Forest Service; founder and board chair of the Society of Wilderness Stewardship; member of the Western Governors Association Forest Health Advisory Committee; and member of the Public Lands Service Coalition. He currently serves as board vice president of the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association board of directors.

Don holds a MES degree in environmental studies from The Evergreen State College, BA degree in environmental journalism from Western Washington University and a USCG 50-T Masters license.

Caroline Gibson

Caroline Gibson

Director of Partnerships

gibson@nwstraitsfoundation.org

Caroline holds extensive experience in the Northwest Straits Initiative and community-based conservation; having served as NW Straits Foundation executive director, NW Straits Commission marine program manager and Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee member. Read more...

Prior to joining the Initiative, Caroline spent more than a decade providing management and administrative leadership on U.S. regional and national marine conservation, policy, research and development projects. She hails from Newfoundland, and loves sharks.

Lisa Kaufman

Lisa Kaufman

Nearshore Program Manager

kaufman@nwstraitsfoundation.org

I manage shoreline restoration projects on behalf of the Foundation and MRCs, and I was formerly the Restoration Manager for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Read more...

I’ve worked on restoration projects around the region and was key to successful implementation of the Northwest Straits Initiative’s creosote debris removal program and an important partner on many nearshore projects.

Jason Morgan

Jason Morgan

Marine Projects Manager

morgan@nwstraitsfoundation.org

I manage the Derelict Fishing Gear Program and Shoreline Restoration Monitoring. Read more...

Prior to joining the Foundation, I worked for six years in commercial fisheries management, this helped me gain extensive field experience in the West Coast Groundfish Observer Program, and was a key component to the successful start of the IFQ Catch Monitor Program. In addition to a busy professional life, I’m an active volunteer devoting time to community outreach and environmental stewardship programs.

Kenny Clarkson

Kenny Clarkson

Communications Specialist

clarkson@nwstraitsfoundation.org

As communications specialist for the Northwest Straits Foundation, it's my job to inform the public of the work being done to protect and restore the Salish Sea. Read more...

Since an early age, conservation and the upholding of wild places have been important to me. An avid skier, hiker and backpacker, the environment of Western Washington has provided recreational opportunity, peace of mind and refuge. Because this environment has been so good to me, it’s only right that I return the favor and educate others on the importance of conservation. I hold a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in news/editorial journalism from Western Washington University.

Melanie del Rosario

Melanie del Rosario

Nearshore Program Assistant

delrosario@nwstraitsfoundation.org

As a wildlife enthusiast and conservationist, I strive to protect the planet for future generations. Read more...

I believe a social scientific approach to policy is essential to affect change and have focused the past few years of my academic and professional life on influencing human decisions related to the environment. 

I moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2017, and in my spare time, absolutely love exploring all the outdoor wonders this region has to offer. I obtained a B.S. in Animal Science & Natural Resources from Cornell University, and Advanced Graduate Certificate in Conservation Biology from Fordham University and my M.A. in Environmental Studies from Western Washington University.

Brooke Friesen

Brooke Friesen

Administrative Coordinator

friesen@nwstraitsfoundation.org

Protecting the Salish Sea has been high on my radar since moving to Washington to sea kayak guide in the San Juan islands. Read more...

Experiencing this beautiful state by climbing, back country skiing, kayaking, and hiking has only grown my love for it. By helping Northwest Straits Foundation with the day-to-day tasks, I hope to protect the area and its inhabitants so the future can see the beauty I am blessed to see everyday.

 

Our Board

Anne Murphy

Anne Murphy

President

Anne Murphy, a first generation resident of the Salish Sea region, was born in the Ohio River Valley of Kentucky. Read more...

She moved west to attend Oregon State University for a degree in Natural Resource Management. She migrated to the North Olympic Peninsula to engage in coastal issues, resulting in a 27-year career in the non-profit, education and conservation field. As Executive Director of the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, Anne developed education programs and exhibits featuring Salish Sea marine life and conservation. She promoted citizen participation in science by establishing a community research lab that became the backbone of one of the region’s strongest citizen science programs. Since retiring in 2013, she remains hands-on with conservation through the Jefferson Marine Resources Committee and personal projects.

Jerry Masters

Jerry Masters

Vice President

Jerry Masters is general manager for Valley Supply, a regional building supply company, and has represented economic interests... Read more

on the Snohomish MRC, including serving two terms as chair of the committee. He also serves as a gubernatorial appointee to the Northwest Straits Commission. Jerry is excited by the Initiative’s ability to accomplish work through voluntary actions and its sense that responsibility for environmental outcomes should be shared by all.

Betsy Lyons

Betsy Lyons

Treasurer

Betsy Lyons has over 17 years of experience working collaboratively on scientific research, policy and conservation efforts in the Pacific Northwest... Read more

She has worked on a broad range of issues including forest canopy research, rare plant conservation, natural area stewardship, native oyster restoration, water quality, shoreline and estuary restoration and climate change. Her interest is in bring together people, funding, technical resources and sound science to make informed decisions and strategic investments in Puget Sound. She believes healthy, functioning habitats are key to supporting vibrant and sustainable local communities. She values the Northwest Straits Foundation’s commitment to informed policy through sound science, citizen engagement, public-private partnerships, and voluntary conservation. Betsy was an integral member of the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Program which created the state’s nearshore ecosystem restoration strategy for Puget Sound. She helped create and manage the Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program which provides funding and technical assistance for high quality nearshore restoration, protection and monitoring in Puget Sound. She has a BS in Botany from the University of Washington and a Master of Environmental Studies from the Evergreen State College. She currently lives and works in the Seattle area.

Simon Geerlofs

Simon Geerlofs

Secretary

Simon has lived, worked, and played on Puget Sound for most of his life... Read more

(aside from two separate stints in Washington DC, where he worked for Senator Maria Cantwell and the Department of Energy’s Wind and Water Power Program). He served on the Snohomish County MRC from 2010-2016, as vice chair for during the last three of those years. Before that, Simon was the Marine Programs Manager for the NWS Commission. These days, Simon stays busy as a Program Manager for Pacific NW National Laboratory’s Marine Sciences Laboratory in Sequim. He splits his time between the Laboratory and running a small film production studio, Transect Films, with his wife, Faith. Simon, Faith, and their five-year-old daughter, Hala recently moved to Bellingham.

Jay Lind

Jay Lind

Board Member

Jay Lind is a third generation seafood processor with experience in marketing, quality control, finance,... Read more

plant management, and international trade. He has a business degree from the University of Puget Sound and is currently involved with importing squid products and trading in seafood from the North Pacific. Jay is a member of the Skagit Marine Resources Committee.

Nan McKay

Nan McKay

Board Member

Nan McKay serves as Governor's appointee to the Northwest Straits Commission and was a former chair. Read more

She lives in Seattle where she is a Senior Advisor for 501 Commons Service Corps–orienting and supporting volunteers who help build the capacity of nonprofits throughout Washington State. She had her own consulting practice and has worked with nonprofits, foundations and local governments.  Nan previously managed the Environmental Sustainability Program for The Russell Family Foundation.  From 1985 to 2002, she served three Washington Governors, first as deputy director and executive director of the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority and later as chair of the Puget Sound Action Team. Prior to that, Nan worked as Energy Project Coordinator for the Washington State associations of cities and counties. She also worked for the League of Oregon Cities on issues ranging from land use and growth management to energy policy and election law.  Nan has served on a variety of public and nonprofit boards.  She was a founding member of the Association of National Estuary Programs and is a past president of the Environmental Education Association of Washington.  She currently chairs the board of the Sustainable Path Foundation and serves on the boards of North Cascades Institute and Western River Conservancy.  She is also a member of advisory boards to Curriculum for the Bioregion, the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure, and the Salish Sea Institute.

Partners

We work in partnership with the Northwest Straits Commission and
the Marine Resources Committees to support restoration and education projects across the region.

Learn more about our partners: Northwest Straits Commission and Marine Resources Committees

Contact

Northwest Straits Foundation
1155 N State St Ste 402
Bellingham WA 98225
(360) 733-1725
info@nwstraitsfoundation.org